DockAtot Travel Bag

If you’ve read my previous post about owning a DockAtot, then you know how much both Emma and I love it! Due to some recent unfortunate events, we had to evacuate our home for 3 weeks while construction crews were there and I was so happy to be able to take my DockAtot with us. We stayed with some family members and to make Emma as comfortable as possible, I knew I couldn’t leave it behind. I’ve traveled with it in the past, but have always had issues with transportation. Since its something that Emma uses for sleeping, I like to keep it extra clean and was so excited to receive this new “On the Go” Grand Transport bag in Midnight Teal

It comes nicely folded in this bag so when you’re done using it, its easily stored. I love how it doesn’t take up a ton of room since I’m always short on storage (I mean, who the heck isn’t?!). 

As you can see from this photo, the dock slides in easily and there’s even room for additional sleep items you’d like to take with you on your travels. The fabric is nice and thick so I would feel very comfortable checking it in on a long flight. It’s also super light weight and can be carried either on your shoulder or in your hands. It comes in two colors and sizes depending on weather you have the Deluxe or Grande.

Bottom line: when you make an investment like this, it’s almost a no-brainer to want to protect it and keep it in its best condition. This travel bag does exactly that! I’d definitely recommend it! Happy travels!

 

*product was provided for review, but all opinions are my own*

Traveling with a baby!

Emma and I in Paris
Emma and I in Paris
My UppaBaby Vista in Bruges, Belgium.
My UppaBaby Vista in Bruges, Belgium.

Europe has a very special place in my heart! I first visited when I was 21 and I particularly fell in love with Paris (like most people do!). I fell so in love that I visited twice before going there with my husband on our honeymoon in 2014. It’s one of the most magical, romantic, and beautiful places in the world, and it also happens to be a three hour drive from where my best friend (and cousin) lives. My bestie has been there for all my special occasions and I had to be there for her big 25th birthday bash! We visited Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Here are some tips and tricks that will make your trip with your little one a bit less dramatic.

BABY PASSPORT:
1. Gather baby’s ORIGINAL birth certificate and ORIGINAL social security card, along with both parents I.D’s.
2. Take baby to CVS or Walgreens and ask for a passport photo to be taken. Once thats done, make a trip to the post office.
NOTE: BOTH PARENTS HAVE TO BE PRESENT AT THE TIME OF INQUIRY
3. Once at the post office, fill out all the necessary paperwork and present documents. If you’re in a rush and need the passport ASAP, make sure to pay for expediting. They will take your original documents and payment: $80 for regular and an additional $60 for expediting…with added fees of $25. They only accept cash or debit card. Don’t be alarmed if they take your child’s original birth certificate, they will mail it back to you. You should receive the passport in 6-8 weeks for regular service and 3 weeks for expedited.

PACKING: This was such a nightmare for me because I’m a procrastinator by nature. Two days before the trip, I went down to Babies R Us and did a huge haul for Emma. Here’s a list of all the things I packed for our trip including all the brands I love. I won’t specify quantities because we went for two weeks and you might be going for much less or more.
1. Formula (Enfamil Gentle ease)
2. Bottles (Dr. Brown’s & Lifefactory)
3. Bottle Brush (Dr. Brown’s)
4. Bottle Soap (Babyganics)
5. Car seat (UppaBaby Mesa)
6. Stroller (UppaBaby Vista 2015)- most people suggest an umbrella stroller but I wanted Emma to be very comfortable and the Vista has wheels made of steel (not really, but super durable) for all those cobble stone streets.
7.Diaper Bag (Ju-Ju-Be)- comes with changing pad
8.Baby Carrier (Ergo Baby 360 and Boba Wrap)
9. Bottle cooler (JJ Cole)
10. Blankets (Aiden + Anais)
11. Diaper rash cream (Boudreaux’s Butt Paste)
12. Clothes, socks, shoes, p.j’s, bibs, sun hat, beanie (I recommend two outfits per day)
13. First Aid Kit
14. Your “A game”…you’re going to need it lol!

THINGS YOU DONT NEED:
1. Diapers and wipes! Buy them when you get to your destination. Only take what you need for the road/ plane.
2. Inflatable bath tub. Most hotels have regular bath tubs that work just fine.
3. Collapsable Crib. Hotels have these by request. Just take a crib sheet.

AIRPORT/FLIGHT:
I decided to check my stroller (strollers and car seats always check for free!) and take my car seat to the gate. I wrapped Emma in my Boba carrier and went through security. You can pass through security this way. TSA was really nice and they didn’t make me take her out of the carrier. As far as what you can and can’t take through security: everything from water, formula, and breast milk is allowed. Certain airports are leanient with water and others (London Heathrow in particular) will make you throw it out and buy bottled water after you pass security. If you’ve purchased a separate seat for your baby, then leave them in the car seat for the trip. If not, check it at the gate. Most airlines will have a baby seatbelt that attaches to your seatbelt for baby’s safety. Or, if you’re really lucky, they may be able to accommodate an attachable bassinet in the bulk head seating section. Be sure to ask about this either prior to your arrival, or at the ticket counter when you get there. Most, but not all (American Airlines was NOT baby/family friendly at all) have family priority boarding which was such a convenience for us when we were headed back home. We had our flight cancelled with American so had to come back with British Airways which was a God sent! They were nice enough to let us board before anyone else and had ice packs ready for baby’s milk when we got situated. Definitely recommend passing a few hundred dollars extra per ticket for this convenience. Have a bottle ready for takeoff so that baby can distract him or her self from the possible ear pressure pain.  I was afraid Emma would have a hard time, but she just drank her milk and slept most of the way there and back. Talking to most of my friends who’ve traveled with infants and babies in general have had similar experiences so I wouldn’t worry if I were you! 

When you reach your destination, you and baby will be jet lagged and I suggest resting for a few hours before you head out to explore. Unfortunately, Europe was not very baby/ stroller friendly and we ended up taking mostly taxies and Ubers. There WILL be melt downs and challenges along the way but the important thing to do is to remember how blessed you are to be able to take a trip with your family and that you can do anything! After all, you’re a momma and mommas don’t step down to a challenge. Enjoy every moment with your little ones and make sure to take all the photos you can!